View Full Version : Started 5th Grade with No Meds-got email from teacher


Berksicle
09-13-17, 08:13 PM
My son is in 5th grade and has been in school for almost 1 month now. We are med free in the summer and he does fine because it's less structured, he gets alot of outside time, etc.

I decided a new year, new teacher, let's see how he does without meds. I was waiting for the teacher to reach out and I got the email below.

I was so hopeful my son could get thru the school year without meds. But he's still having issues with impulsivity, listening, etc.

I think I have to get him back on his meds, what do you think?

Good afternoon, Mrs. G. I hope this email finds you doing well. I wanted to reach out to you about N and how he’s doing over these first few weeks. He’s a very bright young man and has a very positive attitude and I’ve enjoyed having him in class. I wanted to pick your brain about his behavior.

I’ve seen him struggling with his impulsivity and focus as the year has begun more times than not. He is very active and overly chatty to the point of not recognizing when I am talking. He does respond well to redirection, but that is short lived and he’s quick to go back to the talking.

I noticed as I was looking through his file and in talking with Mrs. Teacher that he’s currently medicated for ADHD. The one thing that struck me as I looked through his file was that sometimes the medication is not as effective if he’s going through a growth spurt. I’m wondering if we’re seeing that at this time. In talking with Mrs. Teacher, she expressed that she did not see any of these behaviors last year. Are you seeing anything like this at home? Has there been any change to his current medication?

I welcome your input/insight into making it a great year for N. Please let me know any thoughts you might have.

Lunacie
09-13-17, 08:34 PM
I think the meds would be a big help again this year. 5th grade is much harder,
the kids are expected to be more autonomous, and they are starting to go thru
some growth and hormonal changes.

Have you asked your son what he thinks about school without meds, and if he
would like to have the help?

sarahsweets
09-14-17, 04:11 AM
I look at meds just like I look at blood pressure meds, insulin and glasses. All of those are life or death conditions and one is dependent on them. Adhd meds have been around for over 50 years and they work for your son. There is no shame in taking them.

Caco3girl
09-14-17, 03:26 PM
My kids take the meds every school day. On the breaks, weekends and summer I give them a choice. If my son has an important baseball game he wants them, but in general they don't take them.

For my son not having the meds is like putting a bag over his head and ear plugs in his ears about every 5 minutes for at least 2 minutes at a time. If the teacher mentioned a test or assignment during those two minutes, oh well, he didn't hear it. If he did by some miracle hear when the test was I can't tell you how many times I have heard "She NEVER went over it in class, I just guessed on the test."

For my daughter, she can't sit still and MUST get up from her desk. She can't listen to the teacher she has to go to the nurse, the hall, the lunch room where she forgot her sweatshirt, the trashcan, the teachers desk...she can't POSSIBLY sit there and learn and focus on what she is being taught she MUST move.

Both of those are true stories without medication. Why would I handicap my children's education by not giving them what they need to learn? It's not something they are going to grow out of, they need it. I have no idea why people try to start a new school year without the medication their children need. You are NOT the only one who posted even today about this.

sarahsweets
09-15-17, 03:55 AM
My son is in 5th grade and has been in school for almost 1 month now. We are med free in the summer and he does fine because it's less structured, he gets alot of outside time, etc.

I decided a new year, new teacher, let's see how he does without meds. I was waiting for the teacher to reach out and I got the email below.

I was so hopeful my son could get thru the school year without meds. But he's still having issues with impulsivity, listening, etc.
Why start your son out in 5th grade with one hand tied behind his back? Thats what you are doing by not continuing the med regimen. Especially if meds worked well and you saw success, why the need to be"med free''? I guess I cant relate to that. Waiting for a teacher to have issues with him enough that she reaches out to you is really unfair to your son. Some people believe in breaks over the summer. I couldnt do that with my son. Do you take any medication? If you had high BP would you take a break in the summer because maybe the stress of the average day was less?



I think I have to get him back on his meds, what do you think?

Absolutely.


I noticed as I was looking through his file and in talking with Mrs. Teacher that heís currently medicated for ADHD. The one thing that struck me as I looked through his file was that sometimes the medication is not as effective if heís going through a growth spurt. Iím wondering if weíre seeing that at this time. In talking with Mrs. Teacher, she expressed that she did not see any of these behaviors last year. Are you seeing anything like this at home? Has there been any change to his current medication?

I welcome your input/insight into making it a great year for N. Please let me know any thoughts you might have.

So you have what you were curious about only the teacher thinks he is still medicated but that his meds arent working that well. You need to let her know that you stopped the meds and that its not related to a growth spurt or anything like that.

Lunacie
09-15-17, 12:31 PM
Why start your son out in 5th grade with one hand tied behind his back? Thats what you are doing by not continuing the med regimen. Especially if meds worked well and you saw success, why the need to be"med free''? I guess I cant relate to that. Waiting for a teacher to have issues with him enough that she reaches out to you is really unfair to your son. Some people believe in breaks over the summer. I couldnt do that with my son. Do you take any medication? If you had high BP would you take a break in the summer because maybe the stress of the average day was less?

.

This resonated with me, but not because I take meds for high blood pressure.

I began wearing glasses in 3rd grade. What if my parents took them away
during the summer and sent me back to school for 4th grade without them,
just to see if my eyes were better. OMG.

Berksicle
09-27-17, 11:29 AM
Thank you everyone who responded. I do appreciate your feedback. I think you all have very valid points.

Yes, the past 3 years ADHD meds have helped my son immensely. I know ADHD isn't something mys on will outgrow, he may be able to handle himself better in the future, but he won't outgrow it.

I guess we do Ok over the summer without meds, so I really wanted to give the new school year without the meds. I guess it was wishful thinking on my part that maybe my son could handle school without his meds, I'm hopefully for this every school year!!

We have started up the meds again and things seem to be going better. :)

aeon
09-27-17, 11:54 AM
I guess we do Ok over the summer without meds, so I really wanted to give the new school year without the meds.

Donít kid yourself...ADHD is 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and it takes no breaks.

Your child is still growing and developing during the summer.

You wouldnít take a wheelchair away from a physically-disabled child in the summertime. Well...I hope not.

Why take meds away from a neurologically-disabled child in the summertime?


Well Wishes,
Ian

Arei
09-27-17, 02:29 PM
Also keep in mind, brains keep developing until around 24-26 years of age. Overtime he may have different reactions to medications he didn't have before, stuff suddenly quits working, etc. He may have an entirely different reaction to medication once he's completely grown than he did as a kid.

Just know he's going to be constantly developing and changing, so keeping on top of his medication is a must. And it's possible he may "grow out" of some of his habits, but most likely he'll still need help with focusing/attentiveness. Its really hard to say if someone is going to be the same for life when this stuff happens as a small child. Bipolar has affected me for a long time, but the ADD has evolved over time and affects me much more as an adult then it did as a kid.

Caco3girl
09-28-17, 10:19 AM
Thank you everyone who responded. I do appreciate your feedback. I think you all have very valid points.

Yes, the past 3 years ADHD meds have helped my son immensely. I know ADHD isn't something mys on will outgrow, he may be able to handle himself better in the future, but he won't outgrow it.

I guess we do Ok over the summer without meds, so I really wanted to give the new school year without the meds. I guess it was wishful thinking on my part that maybe my son could handle school without his meds, I'm hopefully for this every school year!!

We have started up the meds again and things seem to be going better. :)

Please don't do this to your son again next year.

sarahsweets
10-10-17, 04:19 AM
Also keep in mind, brains keep developing until around 24-26 years of age. Overtime he may have different reactions to medications he didn't have before, stuff suddenly quits working, etc. He may have an entirely different reaction to medication once he's completely grown than he did as a kid.

Just know he's going to be constantly developing and changing, so keeping on top of his medication is a must. And it's possible he may "grow out" of some of his habits, but most likely he'll still need help with focusing/attentiveness. Its really hard to say if someone is going to be the same for life when this stuff happens as a small child. Bipolar has affected me for a long time, but the ADD has evolved over time and affects me much more as an adult then it did as a kid.

My son was dx'd when he was 3.5 and began meds at age 4. He decided when he was 16 that he didnt want to take stimulants anymore and I coudnt nor wouldnt force a teenager to take meds he didnt want to. I still have to use the talking skills with him that I had to use when he was little.

ex: when he was 4: "Jacob look at my eyes. Go get your shoes and put them on"
Now at age 21: "jacob, look at me, are you listening? We have to be out the door at noon so please go get your shoes on"

meret96
11-15-17, 08:42 PM
I need to tell you, I commend you SO much for trying to keep him off of meds for so long. I was put on medication in 3rd grade and i still wish i had been able to learn to cope with it first. I think what you are doing is very admirable. You could definitely look into an ADHD coach who can teach different learning tools to help learn to cope with it. If you think you need medicine again there's no shame in it. Sometimes there's really nothing you can do. Just make sure to go to an ADHD specialist instead of the pediatrician if you can. They help immensely and just know so much more about the drugs and what works for each specific child. It's the difference between being put on a wrong drug and struggling for years and actually learning how medicine can work with you instead of controlling you. Just listen to your child as well and ask him those questions you need to know about how he's doing on the medicine. (Also don't listen to the doctors if they try to make him stay on it during the summer, I found that was my most important time to try and learn how I act when I'm not on medicine and what feels right for me. That way there's a path for someday using it minimally or even getting off of it:D. When he gets older, a job in the summer is also a super helpful way to learn to work and cope without medicine since its not 4-6 classes piled on you at the same time but still has responsibility and deadlines.)

sarahsweets
11-16-17, 03:38 AM
I need to tell you, I commend you SO much for trying to keep him off of meds for so long. I was put on medication in 3rd grade and i still wish i had been able to learn to cope with it first.

Why? What is the benefit of not being medicated with the right med and right dose? What does 'learning to cope' mean to you? Meds can help a child or an adult learn to cope and keep them coping. If side effects outweight the benefits I get that, but I dont see a reason to hold off on meds.


I think what you are doing is very admirable. You could definitely look into an ADHD coach who can teach different learning tools to help learn to cope with it.
An adhd coach will not be able to do what meds can do.

(Also don't listen to the doctors if they try to make him stay on it during the summer, I found that was my most important time to try and learn how I act when I'm not on medicine and what feels right for me. That way there's a path for someday using it minimally or even getting off of it

My son was medicated age 4 and it would not have been safe for him to stop meds in the summer. It also would have meant he would not have been able to keep the things he learned during the school year by practicing in the summer. Even summer reading would have been difficult. His impairments reached beyond school. I suspect many kids' impairments reach beyond school but parents think breaks are mandatory or necessary either because of tolerance- or some other reason and then kids suffer and are constantly in trouble and bored all summer long because they are not taking their meds. I know some kids have weight issues and breaks are a must. In that respect I advise takingn breaks throughout the year;n a weekend here or there, a school break. But to jam all the potential gained through breaks into one summer seems like the harder path.

My son had weight issues and we had to add things like protein milkshakes and full fat good foods. In fact when I would forget to get his script on time the adhd came back with full force.
And I dont understand your point in trying to get to a point where meds are not necessary. Of course nobody wishes to be on meds, but if they help I do not understand the need to work towards getting off of them. I cant see all the ways you cope while medicated being easily achieved off meds because adhd is a lifelong, chronic condition. Its misinformation that it goes away when you grow up. (not saying you are misinforming anyone.)

And I am not someone who cant see the value in breaks. My daughter was medicated fromn 5-10th grade and she would request breaks and I dont believe in forcing her to take meds against her will so of course I let her have them. The side effects were tough for her to handle. Summers were rough that way. She decided when she was 15 she didnt want meds anymore so what could I do?I could see the side effects were rapidly getting worse. She does ok now but I think she may have developed better skills if she could tolerate meds enough to stay on them throughout the year.
My youngest daughter never could tolerate meds and I also believe her study skills and time management would have been better had she been able to. Maybe I should have powered through it and forced the issue but she was very sensitive even at a young age and made the connection between meds and the way she felt. She stayed classified in special until middle school and I think she may have been able to be in a regular class sooner with meds.
Last thing, how many adults do you know that work towards not needing their blood pressure meds or glasses? How many have goals of not taking medication? How many people want to work towards not having bipolar and therefore not needing medication? I would say not many because those meds are accepted and dont have the same reputation as adhd meds.

Caco3girl
11-16-17, 03:42 PM
I don't give my kids their meds on non-school days usually. There isn't much that goes on in an average day that needs to hold their attention for 45+ minutes, so I only give it to them if they ask. From Saturday-Tuesday my son will have a 30 hour drivers ed class, HE will be on meds. My daughter will be off from school so she will not be.

As they progress into the real world I hope they take their meds IF they have to be in a situation that their ADHD puts them at a disadvantage. Because that is really what ADHD meds boil down to in my family. There is no "normal" there is my daughter bouncing off the walls, and my son spacing out, that is their normal. However, their normal puts them at a disadvantage in school. School is a construct that has boxes for kids. Act THIS WAY, and ONLY this way and you can progress to the next level. If you space out and miss the test date that's a disadvantage. If you can't sit still long enough to learn how to do the assignment because you HAVE to get up, or are so consumed with thoughts of getting up that you can't hear the instructions, THAT is a disadvantage.

If my son decides to become an artist he can float away with his brain and his canvas to his hearts content...but if he wants to hold a business discussion and he spaces out looking at the coffee pot that reminds him of his grandmothers coffee pot, that isn't going to work is it? If my daughter wants to hike a jungle she can be as hyper as she like, but if she tries to compete with non ADHD people for a grant the board is unlikely to choose her based on her bouncing off the walls and looking like shes jittery from caffeine.

In a structured environment ADHD is a disadvantage. There is no getting around that. If the ADHD person is choosing to do something in a structured environment it will go a WHOLE lot better if they are on ADHD meds so they are on a more even field with other non-ADHD people

Caco3girl
11-16-17, 03:47 PM
I need to tell you, I commend you SO much for trying to keep him off of meds for so long. I was put on medication in 3rd grade and i still wish i had been able to learn to cope with it first. I think what you are doing is very admirable. You could definitely look into an ADHD coach who can teach different learning tools to help learn to cope with it. If you think you need medicine again there's no shame in it. Sometimes there's really nothing you can do. Just make sure to go to an ADHD specialist instead of the pediatrician if you can. They help immensely and just know so much more about the drugs and what works for each specific child. It's the difference between being put on a wrong drug and struggling for years and actually learning how medicine can work with you instead of controlling you. Just listen to your child as well and ask him those questions you need to know about how he's doing on the medicine. (Also don't listen to the doctors if they try to make him stay on it during the summer, I found that was my most important time to try and learn how I act when I'm not on medicine and what feels right for me. That way there's a path for someday using it minimally or even getting off of it:D. When he gets older, a job in the summer is also a super helpful way to learn to work and cope without medicine since its not 4-6 classes piled on you at the same time but still has responsibility and deadlines.)

I'm with Sarah....commend is a word I don't get in this context.

Is that like I commend you for not giving your child glasses to see the board, allowing the eyes time to attempt to auto correct is important?

ADHD doesn't auto correct. Why put a kid at a disadvantage?

aeon
11-16-17, 04:24 PM
ADHD is 24/7/365...so a person with ADHD is disabled in *every* situation in life, in *every* context...because that is the nature of a neurodevelopmental disorder that causes disability across life domains.

In some situations the negative consequences will be less meaningful, and in some they will be more so...but one thing is consistent...they are *always* there.

Combined with the demonstrated neural remodeling and plasticity that occurs with dextroamphetamine, you had better believe meds would be daily were I a parent of a child with ADHD.

I’m not, so you can dismiss this without prejudice if you so wish.

My sense is that too often, parents judge the need for meds based on performance in a measured metrics environment...school being the primary one.

That said, the situations without metrics - friendships, family dynamics, becoming a member of a team, of a community, working toward self-directed goals of growth and pleasure, i.e., not scheduled...all these things are just as important, if not more so, when considering the totality of the life arc...and to be sure, ADHD is life-long.

Without early intervention with meds, we see the statistics of automobile accidents, unwanted pregnancies, drug addiction, and so on. Who wants those things for their child?

Of course, people will do what they like, as is their right.

But I will say this...I can only dream, I can only imagine what my life would have been, could have been, had I been medicated as a child.


Cheers,
Ian

stef
11-16-17, 06:53 PM
I'm with Sarah....commend is a word I don't get in this context.

Is that like I commend you for not giving your child glasses to see the board, allowing the eyes time to attempt to auto correct is important?

ADHD doesn't auto correct. Why put a kid at a disadvantage?

There is nothing commendable; please, reconsider this.

peripatetic
11-17-17, 01:26 AM
you'd definitely have found my parents praiseworthy then...i was diagnosed at eight but didn't take adhd medications until my teens.

largely because of the stigma my european parents felt. i went through no less than ten different primary schools as a result.

i did develop as a cross country athlete. but that kinda doesn't matter when you can't stay in the same school for more than a semester.

you know what else sucks? you don't just "learn coping skills" so you can survive without meds. on the contrary, any and all coping skills i learned, i was able to process and execute ONLY because i was medicated enough to learn and execute anything successfully.

but, really, i'm replying because you gave some horrible advice at the end. getting a job is NOT going to suddenly resolve your adhd issues. it's going to make them worse and you're going to fail in another arena of life. exactly what kind of job with actual responsibility do you think is compatible with unmedicated adhd? i hope it's not one where you have to organize, manage your time, follow complex instructions, pay attention, drive, operate any sort of machinery, have situational awareness, be responsible for the care/welfare of another human...etc, etc, etc.

I need to tell you, I commend you SO much for trying to keep him off of meds for so long. I was put on medication in 3rd grade and i still wish i had been able to learn to cope with it first. I think what you are doing is very admirable. You could definitely look into an ADHD coach who can teach different learning tools to help learn to cope with it. If you think you need medicine again there's no shame in it. Sometimes there's really nothing you can do. Just make sure to go to an ADHD specialist instead of the pediatrician if you can. They help immensely and just know so much more about the drugs and what works for each specific child. It's the difference between being put on a wrong drug and struggling for years and actually learning how medicine can work with you instead of controlling you. Just listen to your child as well and ask him those questions you need to know about how he's doing on the medicine. (Also don't listen to the doctors if they try to make him stay on it during the summer, I found that was my most important time to try and learn how I act when I'm not on medicine and what feels right for me. That way there's a path for someday using it minimally or even getting off of it:D. When he gets older, a job in the summer is also a super helpful way to learn to work and cope without medicine since its not 4-6 classes piled on you at the same time but still has responsibility and deadlines.)

Caco3girl
11-17-17, 03:39 PM
ADHD is 24/7/365...so a person with ADHD is disabled in *every* situation in life, in *every* context...because that is the nature of a neurodevelopmental disorder that causes disability across life domains.

In some situations the negative consequences will be less meaningful, and in some they will be more so...but one thing is consistent...they are *always* there.

Combined with the demonstrated neural remodeling and plasticity that occurs with dextroamphetamine, you had better believe meds would be daily were I a parent of a child with ADHD.

Iím not, so you can dismiss this without prejudice if you so wish.

My sense is that too often, parents judge the need for meds based on performance in a measured metrics environment...school being the primary one.

That said, the situations without metrics - friendships, family dynamics, becoming a member of a team, of a community, working toward self-directed goals of growth and pleasure, i.e., not scheduled...all these things are just as important, if not more so, when considering the totality of the life arc...and to be sure, ADHD is life-long.

Without early intervention with meds, we see the statistics of automobile accidents, unwanted pregnancies, drug addiction, and so on. Who wants those things for their child?

Of course, people will do what they like, as is their right.

But I will say this...I can only dream, I can only imagine what my life would have been, could have been, had I been medicated as a child.


Cheers,
Ian

Ian, I wanted to address the bolded part above. I absolutely used school as my stick so to speak on if to medicate my kids because it was their that their actions were deemed not okay.

I am okay with my kids being immature, that is who they are and I love them. However, on the meds or off my kids are not going to pick up social cues, it's just not in them. And in normal circumstances they don't have to sit still or pay attention for 45 minutes, so I didn't see the point in medicating them. I kind of just want them to be themselves outside of school. School has severe rules and consequences and if I want them to get an education they MUST be medicated there.

Why medicate outside of a construct like school? I should also add my son is inattentive and my daughter is hyper but SUPER attentive. I'm thinking lawyer because man can she find a loophole in your logic faster than you can spit!

Lunacie
11-17-17, 04:12 PM
Ian, I wanted to address the bolded part above. I absolutely used school as my stick so to speak on if to medicate my kids because it was their that their actions were deemed not okay.

I am okay with my kids being immature, that is who they are and I love them. However, on the meds or off my kids are not going to pick up social cues, it's just not in them. And in normal circumstances they don't have to sit still or pay attention for 45 minutes, so I didn't see the point in medicating them. I kind of just want them to be themselves outside of school. School has severe rules and consequences and if I want them to get an education they MUST be medicated there.

Why medicate outside of a construct like school? I should also add my son is inattentive and my daughter is hyper but SUPER attentive. I'm thinking lawyer because man can she find a loophole in your logic faster than you can spit!

Fraser mentioned the other day having withdrawal symptoms after missing
just one dose. We know that coffee, also a stimulant, can cause withdrawal
symptoms when decreased or stopped.

ADHD is already causing inconsistency in our lives, why add to that by being
able to focus during the week, or during the school year, and then struggling
to focus and feeling negative withdrawal symptoms the rest of the time.

Even though I only take Omega 3 to treat my ADHD, if I miss more than two
daily doses I notice the brain fog, the difficulty with social/family interactions.
I can't believe I lived that way for so many years.

Maybe without any influence from you, ask your kids if they want their meds
every day or if they're good with a meds vacation.

CharlesH
11-17-17, 09:38 PM
I'd urge people to refrain from speaking in absolutes. The decision to medicate is complicated. Here are just a few things that I think could be helpful to think about:

1) Your son is going to be a teenager soon. The decision to medicate will be a delicate balance between the parent, child, and doctor. The conversation so far has been so dominated by the parental perspective. What does your son think? How did your son feel when he was medicated, and how does he feel now? Does he resent having to take medication, or is he indifferent?

2) How is his physical growth and appetite? Stimulants can reduce appetite in some children, leading to slowed physical growth. That was the main impetus behind med holidays.

3) To be diagnosed with ADHD, it has to negatively affect more than one area of life functioning. How does your child function outside of academics when unmedicated? ADHD children are less likely to have friends, more likely to get into car accidents, have unwanted pregnancies, abuse drugs, etc.

My personal opinion (which you're free to ignore) is that you should only withhold a beneficial medication from a child is if the medication is preventing them from physically growing. You don't want your child, once he's an adult, to look back at your decision to medicate him with resentment for making him short.

sarahsweets
11-18-17, 05:36 AM
I kind of fall somewhere in the middle of all this. My son was medicated at age 4. My oldest daughter tried meds when she was in 5th grade then again in 7th grade on and off until 9th grade. My son said when he was 15 that he didnt like the way meds made him feel after break in all summer long. He was working on his summer reading about a week before school and I gave him his medicine. It really affected his mood and he was sad and agitated. I think being off all summer and resuming caused this and he decided on no meds from there on out. My daughter said she too didnt like the way meds made her feel when she was 14 and didnt want them anymore, and my youngest daughter could never tolerate them. The older two decided they didnt want meds after being off them all summer and resuming. I think resuming them was too much for them and the negative reaction upset them and so they decided no meds. I think if i had kept them on that summer that they might have continued to take them.

Caco3girl
11-20-17, 09:30 AM
Fraser mentioned the other day having withdrawal symptoms after missing
just one dose. We know that coffee, also a stimulant, can cause withdrawal
symptoms when decreased or stopped.

ADHD is already causing inconsistency in our lives, why add to that by being
able to focus during the week, or during the school year, and then struggling
to focus and feeling negative withdrawal symptoms the rest of the time.

Even though I only take Omega 3 to treat my ADHD, if I miss more than two
daily doses I notice the brain fog, the difficulty with social/family interactions.
I can't believe I lived that way for so many years.

Maybe without any influence from you, ask your kids if they want their meds
every day or if they're good with a meds vacation.

If they ever asked for their meds I would give them to them, I think I've made that clear to them. I give them absolutes on when they MUST have their meds, not that they can't have them if they want them.

Neither has said anything about withdrawals, or headaches, or acted in a bad way on non-med days that I have noticed. The one HUGE difference is appetite. I have pushed on my son that on non-med days I expect him to eat like a horse. He plays high level baseball and to be blunt, he needs to gain more weight to compete. He's approaching 6'3 and is 162#'s at last check in. To throw the ball the way he wants to throw the ball he NEEDS mass. On game days I give him the option of meds, he takes me up on the offer about 50% of the time, usually on the super important games.

Perhaps the people who suffer from withdrawals do so because they are over medicated?

Lunacie
11-20-17, 01:42 PM
If they ever asked for their meds I would give them to them, I think I've made that clear to them. I give them absolutes on when they MUST have their meds, not that they can't have them if they want them.

Neither has said anything about withdrawals, or headaches, or acted in a bad way on non-med days that I have noticed. The one HUGE difference is appetite. I have pushed on my son that on non-med days I expect him to eat like a horse. He plays high level baseball and to be blunt, he needs to gain more weight to compete. He's approaching 6'3 and is 162#'s at last check in. To throw the ball the way he wants to throw the ball he NEEDS mass. On game days I give him the option of meds, he takes me up on the offer about 50% of the time, usually on the super important games.

Perhaps the people who suffer from withdrawals do so because they are over medicated?

If you only give the option of taking meds on certain days, your kids may not
realize they have that option any other days.

I suggested that you ask your kids if they want meds, and you respond that
they haven't asked you for them. Kids with adhd are delayed in their
development in self awareness and self control. We had the meds discussion
with my oldest granddaughter many times, so she was aware of her options.
We encouraged her take them, but she chose not to, and she ended up with
anxiety and depression disorders.

Withdrawal can occur with a low but effective level of medication, it doesn't
only happen with over-medication or abuse of meds. I have worn eyeglasses
for most of my life and can't imagine the troubles I would have if they were
suddenly taken away ... eye strain, headaches, balance issues, and I expect
it would make me really cranky because I need my glasses to function day to
day.

Caco3girl
11-21-17, 09:20 AM
If you only give the option of taking meds on certain days, your kids may not
realize they have that option any other days.

I suggested that you ask your kids if they want meds, and you respond that
they haven't asked you for them. Kids with adhd are delayed in their
development in self awareness and self control. We had the meds discussion
with my oldest granddaughter many times, so she was aware of her options.
We encouraged her take them, but she chose not to, and she ended up with
anxiety and depression disorders.

Withdrawal can occur with a low but effective level of medication, it doesn't
only happen with over-medication or abuse of meds. I have worn eyeglasses
for most of my life and can't imagine the troubles I would have if they were
suddenly taken away ... eye strain, headaches, balance issues, and I expect
it would make me really cranky because I need my glasses to function day to
day.
I didn't reply yesterday because I wanted to ask my son. He said "You frequently ask if I want them on the weekend even without there being a game, I know if I want them I can have them, I just usually don't want them."

Your eyes hurt without glasses because there is extra strain. For my son there is more of a fog without the meds, so it's actually less strain in my opinion. He comes off as a stoned surfer dude, which leads to him being offered and asked for pot often, but he likes being "so chill"...his words, lol!

But it was worth having the conversation :- )

Lunacie
11-21-17, 12:15 PM
I didn't reply yesterday because I wanted to ask my son. He said "You frequently ask if I want them on the weekend even without there being a game, I know if I want them I can have them, I just usually don't want them."

Your eyes hurt without glasses because there is extra strain. For my son there is more of a fog without the meds, so it's actually less strain in my opinion. He comes off as a stoned surfer dude, which leads to him being offered and asked for pot often, but he likes being "so chill"...his words, lol!

But it was worth having the conversation :- )

I'm glad he knows he has the option at any time.

I think when I was in school I didn't feel the strain of not being diagnosed or
treated for adhd, I only realized I was different which made me quite shy.

But as the years went on and I was expected to 'adult' every day, the strain
became very real. The strain of not being able to meet adult expectations
left me very anxious and depressed, to the point of spending a lot of time
thinking about suicide. The only thing that kept from going that way was
being the mother of a child and I did not want to leave her that legacy.

Caco3girl
11-21-17, 02:44 PM
I'm glad he knows he has the option at any time.

I think when I was in school I didn't feel the strain of not being diagnosed or
treated for adhd, I only realized I was different which made me quite shy.

But as the years went on and I was expected to 'adult' every day, the strain
became very real. The strain of not being able to meet adult expectations
left me very anxious and depressed, to the point of spending a lot of time
thinking about suicide. The only thing that kept from going that way was
being the mother of a child and I did not want to leave her that legacy.

While my ex husband doesn't understand my way of parenting, I am attempting to parent self thinking children. I thought my son had missed his drivers ed class yesterday, long story, but while texting with my ex about it he said "What are you going to do about it?", I said "Me, nothing except provide him the phone number to see what he needs to do", he said "Do you think that is really fair, to expect him to figure this out?" I said "If he is old enough to get his license he's old enough to figure out how to fix his mistake." My ex still didn't get it, but my kids do, and that's my hope.

Earlier this year my son was assigned his study hall that is mandated by his IEP. He didn't have the same teacher as last year and he heard this teacher was very fun. He didn't think that was a good idea. He knows he needs pressure to do his work, being with a fun teacher wasn't going to go well for him. He not only realized this, he sought out his teacher from last year, asked her if she had a study hall 7th period, which she did, he then went to the office and requested to switch classes. I heard about this after the fact and was SOOOO proud of him for fixing his own problem and identifying a problem that hadn't even occured yet.

sarahsweets
11-21-17, 05:57 PM
If not giving your kids meds all the time caco thats good that it works for you but for me and alot of others it wouldnt work. IME kids are very poor self evaluators and expecting them to know when the meds would help would be tough at least with my kids it would be.

Caco3girl
11-22-17, 09:57 AM
If not giving your kids meds all the time caco thats good that it works for you but for me and alot of others it wouldnt work. IME kids are very poor self evaluators and expecting them to know when the meds would help would be tough at least with my kids it would be.

I guess I just don't understand why they would need them outside of school, meeting, baseball game..etc. Playing with their friends outside doesn't seem to warrant meds. Then again, it must depend on the kid. If my kids had no self control for when they get upset when they were off the meds I would be medicating them.

In their case my son just gets spacey, and my daughter gets hyper. Neither of which hinders them in their play.

Fuzzy12
11-22-17, 10:21 AM
My son is in 5th grade and has been in school for almost 1 month now. We are med free in the summer and he does fine because it's less structured, he gets alot of outside time, etc.

I decided a new year, new teacher, let's see how he does without meds. I was waiting for the teacher to reach out and I got the email below.

I was so hopeful my son could get thru the school year without meds. But he's still having issues with impulsivity, listening, etc.

I think I have to get him back on his meds, what do you think?

Good afternoon, Mrs. G. I hope this email finds you doing well. I wanted to reach out to you about N and how heís doing over these first few weeks. Heís a very bright young man and has a very positive attitude and Iíve enjoyed having him in class. I wanted to pick your brain about his behavior.

Iíve seen him struggling with his impulsivity and focus as the year has begun more times than not. He is very active and overly chatty to the point of not recognizing when I am talking. He does respond well to redirection, but that is short lived and heís quick to go back to the talking.

I noticed as I was looking through his file and in talking with Mrs. Teacher that heís currently medicated for ADHD. The one thing that struck me as I looked through his file was that sometimes the medication is not as effective if heís going through a growth spurt. Iím wondering if weíre seeing that at this time. In talking with Mrs. Teacher, she expressed that she did not see any of these behaviors last year. Are you seeing anything like this at home? Has there been any change to his current medication?

I welcome your input/insight into making it a great year for N. Please let me know any thoughts you might have.


Yes definitely start medicating again. You've heard some great reasons why you should so I'm not going to talk about that.

I just wanted to mention how impressed I am by the teacher's letter. It's respectful and inquiring without complaining. It sounds like they are really trying to find a good solution. I'd encourage you to cultivate a good relationship with this teacher. A good teacher who really tried to understand what is happening and wants to help can be invaluable.

aeon
11-23-17, 05:16 AM
I guess I just don't understand why they would need them outside of school, meeting, baseball game..etc. Playing with their friends outside doesn't seem to warrant meds...In their case my son just gets spacey, and my daughter gets hyper. Neither of which hinders them in their play.

Doesn't interfere with play itself, no.

That said, it does hinder socialization, inclusion in peer groups, and the formation of relationships...with others, but more importantly, with their self.

And problems with that last bit is the single biggest determinant in the development of poor self esteem, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, chronic substance abuse, unwanted pregnancy, and acquiring a STI.

Children with ADHD need meds in most situations because ADHD affects all situations, and it never goes into remission.

If we withhold assistance to someone with a disability, it is rightly considered a violation of the law and a willful criminal act.

ADHD is a disability under the law. Why leave ADHD children disabled when there is a possibility to work toward their well-being and health?


Cheers,
Ian

Caco3girl
11-27-17, 10:40 AM
Doesn't interfere with play itself, no.

That said, it does hinder socialization, inclusion in peer groups, and the formation of relationships...with others, but more importantly, with their self.

And problems with that last bit is the single biggest determinant in the development of poor self esteem, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, chronic substance abuse, unwanted pregnancy, and acquiring a STI.

Children with ADHD need meds in most situations because ADHD affects all situations, and it never goes into remission.

If we withhold assistance to someone with a disability, it is rightly considered a violation of the law and a willful criminal act.

ADHD is a disability under the law. Why leave ADHD children disabled when there is a possibility to work toward their well-being and health?


Cheers,
Ian
No, ADHD doesn't go into remission. However, why would you think the ADHD meds help with socialization, inclusion of peer groups, or formation of relationships?

I don't see the relationship there. The meds don't flip a switch and make them pick up on social cues, they are quirky kids. The kids in the neighborhood can either like them or not, personally I'd rather they be liked for themselves, not their medicated selves. Similarly when they find that special someone that person has to be able to like them on or off their meds.

My children will always have impulse control issues, but the meds are short acting, not 24/7. ADHD meds aren't like depression meds that build up in your system and work over time, they are more like a shot of medicine right to the brain and then they wear off. It may be at 1pm or 7pm, but they wear off. While the kids might never be able to control themselves completely, and I do give SOME leniency for their ADHD, I'm of the opinion they need to be put in social situations on and off their meds to see the difference and to try to learn to make adaptations.

I will say again, if I had an aggressive ADHD kid that off his meds he liked to fight people this discussion would be VERY different, but my kids are goofy, spacey and energetic, not aggressive.

aeon
11-27-17, 11:15 AM
No, ADHD doesn't go into remission. However, why would you think the ADHD meds help with socialization, inclusion of peer groups, or formation of relationships?

Because of the pro-social effects of psychostimulants, including willingness and ability to engage, the ability to listen, the ability to prevent the mind from wandering during engagement, the ability to understand the dynamics and timing of a group situation, the ability to control oneself so as to not interrupt, the potential reduction of social anxiety.

I don't see the relationship there. The meds don't flip a switch and make them pick up on social cues, they are quirky kids.

Yet meds give them the opportunity and the potential ability to pick up on social cues...something that is absolutely key in terms of human development.

The kids in the neighborhood can either like them or not, personally I'd rather they be liked for themselves, not their medicated selves. Similarly when they find that special someone that person has to be able to like them on or off their meds.

A false dichotomy, I think. A person is liked, or not, for their self, regardless of the use of medication. No one is liked because they are medicated, though the reduction of disability facilitates peer bonding because of the removal of non-normative behaviors.

And yes, I value the idea of, and hope for, the unconditional love for and acceptance of any and all people in intimate relationships.

While the kids might never be able to control themselves completely, and I do give SOME leniency for their ADHD, I'm of the opinion they need to be put in social situations on and off their meds to see the difference and to try to learn to make adaptations.

Fair enough.

I will say again, if I had an aggressive ADHD kid that off his meds he liked to fight people this discussion would be VERY different, but my kids are goofy, spacey and energetic, not aggressive.

Maybe this is all part of a self-referential bias on my part.

You see, I was goofy, spacey, and energetic as a child, sensitive and polite, compliant and people-pleasing...and I only wish I could have been diagnosed and medicated when I was small.


Cheers,
Ian

aeon
11-27-17, 01:10 PM
...why would you think the ADHD meds help with socialization, inclusion of peer groups, or formation of relationships?

Mostly because ADHD is defined and specified in the DSM-V, which includes this section (emphasis added by me):

Functional Consequences of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

ADHD is associated with reduced school performance and academic attainment, social rejection, and, in adults, poorer occupational performance, attainment, attendance, and higher probability of unemployment as well as elevated interpersonal conflict. Children with ADHD are significantly more likely than their peers without ADHD to develop conduct disorder in adolescence and antisocial personality disorder in adulthood, consequently increasing the likelihood for substance use disorders and incarceration. The risk of subsequent substance use disorders is elevated, especially when conduct disorder or antisocial personality disorder develops. Individuals with ADHD are more likely than peers to be injured. Traffic accidents and violations are more frequent in drivers with ADHD. There may be an elevated likelihood of obesity among individuals with ADHD. Inadequate or variable self-application to tasks that require sustained effort is often interpreted by others as laziness, irresponsibility, or failure to cooperate. Family relationships may be characterized by discord and negative interactions. Peer relationships are often disrupted by peer rejection, neglect, or teasing of the individual with ADHD. On average, individuals with ADHD obtain less schooling, have poorer vocational achievement, and have reduced intellectual scores than their peers, although there is great variability. In its severe form, the disorder is markedly impairing, affecting social, familial, and scholastic/occupational adjustment.
Academic deficits, school-related problems, and peer neglect tend to be most associated with elevated symptoms of inattention, whereas peer rejection and, to a lesser extent, accidental injury are most salient with marked symptoms of hyperactivity or impulsivity.

If that doesnít make it abundantly clear, nothing else will.

ADHD is a disability that impairs social development, and conversely, ADHD medications help to ameliorate these deficits, with an associated reduction in sequential negative consequences, social and otherwise.


Cheers,
Ian

Caco3girl
11-27-17, 02:37 PM
Mostly because ADHD is defined and specified in the DSM-V, which includes this section (emphasis added by me):



If that doesnít make it abundantly clear, nothing else will.

ADHD is a disability that impairs social development, and conversely, ADHD medications help to ameliorate these deficits, with an associated reduction in sequential negative consequences, social and otherwise.


Cheers,
Ian

Ah, I think we are getting somewhere. I guess I don't have typical ADHD kids. I've wondered that from things I've read on here.

Since the medicine my son has A's and B's, so his school performance is back up. I still think my daughter has dyslexia but we will see what the testing shows. She is behind in her reading.

As for social things, they are both goofy, but people seem to like that at age 15 and 8. Both are in sports and both are leaders on their teams and have no problem talking to their coaches or teammates, and those people look like they like and even admire them. It seems everywhere we go he is high fivieng or bro-hugging someone, and she is squealing and hugging someone else.

I've gotten about 98 notes home from teachers talking about TOO much socializing during class, and about 2 because they did something against school policy. Now when my son got to middle school his notes went up but he wasn't diagnosed at that point. The co-taught classes where the teachers KNOW these kids are not fitting into the typical school box, has worked very well for him and I'm hoping to get my daughter into them soon.

So, I guess my kids aren't stereo typical ADHD? :scratch: